Markets hold firm near record highs

U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday as gains in the Oil & Gas, Basic Materials and Financials sectors led shares higher. At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.69%, while the S&P 500 index added 0.88%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 1.23%. Wall Street rallied on Friday, pushing the S&P and the Nasdaq to record closing highs for the fourth time this week as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks at the Jackson Hole Symposium calmed fears over the tapering timetable and sent investors into the weekend in a buying mood. In his prepared remarks, Powell stopped short of providing a clearer picture regarding the timing of the central bank’s tapering of asset purchases or hiking interest rates, the key elements of its dovish monetary policy aimed at helping the economy recover from the pandemic recession.

European also stocks rose on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.4% higher, with mining stocks up 1.9%, while real estate stocks added 1.5%. The day’s gains helped the STOXX 600 close 0.8% higher for the week, after trading flat for several days. Commodity-linked stocks were the best weekly performers, as they bounced back from steep losses. Germany stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Financial Services and Media sectors led shares higher. At close in Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.37%, while the MDAX index added 0.48%, and the TecDAX index added 0.89%. France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Foods & Drugs, Gas & Water and General Financial sectors led shares higher. At close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.24%, while the SBF 120 index gained 0.29%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.65% to a two-week high, and Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.54%. Hong Kong was up 0.20% towards the close of the session, Australia 0.22%, and Korea 0.33% but Chinese blue chips bucked the trend, falling 0.26%. There are also signs that Chinese growth is slowing and so traders are closely watching purchasing manager surveys for manufacturing and services, which are both due this week.

The Russian stock market, which started Friday trading on the positive following the rallying oil and foreign markets, finished them with a confident increase in stock indicators. The Moscow Exchange index at 18:50 Moscow time increased by 0.93% and amounted to 3887.38 points. The RTS index by 18:50 Moscow time rose by 1.8% – to 1664.25 points.

Oil prices went up on Monday as Hurricane Ida caused the shutdown of offshore oil platforms. Brent Oil at $73.70 in early trading having risen more than 11% the past week over predictions of oil production halting. Crude Oil WTI Futures inched down 0.07% to $68.69. Gold was up Monday morning in Asia, continuing to ride a rebound sparked by comments on Friday by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell; gold futures were up 0.29% to $1,824.